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Bach: prelude and fugue b-flat-major, WTCI

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by musicusblau, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi friends,
    I like the fantasy- or improvisation-like prelude and the fresh and blitheful fugue. I´m coming nearer and nearer to my goal (nr. 1-21 still recorded, nr. 22-24 still missing).

    (You can watch me playing these pair also on my youtube-channel, if you like. Please, see link to my videos below. But this time it´s just me playing around with my grand, no collage or similar, which could make the film interesting. :lol: )

    I´m very interested in your comments!


    Bach - Prelude $ Fugue no. 21 in B-flat Major, BWV 866
     
  2. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I liked both the prelude and the fugue. You have done an excellent job, Andreas.
    I would say that I fell for the fugue more. You play it with character and style. Very nice.
    My only tiny reservation would be over the prelude's entry. Maybe there the notes could sound more distinct. This would give the piece tempo. But this is something subjective so just keep my initial reaction, great job!

    BTW, I will once more mention your tuning. Since you say that you don't do anything special about it, then your tuner must be congratulated. Your piano sounds amazingly tuned, I envy you!
    I tune my pianos myself so I am a little sensitive on the subject, don't misunderstand my remarks.
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Pantelis,
    thank you for your encouraging and interesting comment.

    Thanks for this. :D

    Thanks for this interesting and useful inspiration!

    :D Now I´m very proud, because this time I tuned it myself. (Sometimes I do this, because I unfortunately have no burro in the corner of my living-room, which spits out the immense money a tuner engulfs, if he is often needed. (I do my work mostly with the help of a tuning-apparat of Korg. But it´s a normal well-tempered tuning with a´=440 Hz.) 8)
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    That was a nice, cheerful piece. Great job, Andreas! I'm really amazed at how fast you are rolling these out! I think I started my complete mazurka goal before you started your complete WTC goal and you are almost done, where I am only at the half-way point. And yours are such good quality too!

    This is up on the site.
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Pianolady wrote:
    Thanks for this. I´m glad, that you like it.

    Oh, thanks, but if I count the Mazurkas of Chopin, I find 48, isn´t it? So, the WTCI has only 24 pieces, but it´s prelude and fugue always, so together also 48 pieces. So may be this could be comparable. (It´s interesting, the Songs Without Words, which I would like to record completely also, are in summary also 48.) I have to admit, that I have not too much time to practice during some periods, depends on what I have to do for my job. So, I´m really glad myself, that it works like this. But I think, you also record much other pieces between the mazurkas, isn´t it? And in summary I suppose, you record more than me, also always with a good quality.

    Thank you, Monica.
     
  6. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    And now I'm impressed. I listened again and still insist that your tuning is perfect. I mean, just listen to those chords in the prelude and the ending of the fugue. Congratulations, Andreas.

    I too, hate to pay the tuner so much - double for two pianos - for something that will last only a few hours (recording-wise) or a few days (playing-wise). He says I'm spoiled!

    Let me see if I got this correctly. You have done a well-tempered tuning? Or you meant an equal tuning? If it's a well-tempered tuning then I should learn to do this also! :shock: These Bach pieces sound perfect on it. And does your Korg device support well-tempered tunings? I have a Korg orchestral tuner but it only does equal temperaments and I do the stretching on my own.
    Sorry for being a bother.
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I am interested in this also. Andreas, how long does it take you to tune your piano?
     
  8. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Pantelis,
    wiser_guy wrote:
    But no, you aren´t a bother in any way, but absolutely the opposite. You are very welcome.

    :D I´m absolutely not a professional in piano-tuning (I just have learned how to tune a guitar, when I was seven), so I´m very happy about your comment, but it could be pure hazard, that I got the tuning so well this time and I´m sure, that I don´t hear the fine differences myself. :oops:

    This is a point f.ex., which proves my unprofessionalism in piano-tuning and my still bigger unprofessionalism in the English language: I don´t know the difference between a "well-tempered" and an "equal" tuning. I looked into my dictionary and found the following translations: well-tempered=wohltemperiert, equal=gleich. Bach named his Well-tempered Clavier after this kind of tuning, german: Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. I think, in the well-tempered tuning all halftone-distances are equal, so that one can play in all scales, without being disturbed by a bad sound. That was the new knowledge in Bachs time, discovered by Andreas Werckmeister. J. C. F. Fischer still wrote 20 fugues in his "Ariadne musica" in 20 different scales, but Bach first did in all 24 scales in his Well-tempered Piano-book.
    I use a Korg MT1200 and I have scanned a picture of it and the temperament-specifications for you. So, please, be so kind to explain me the difference between "equal" and "well-tempered". My Korg-MT1200 has 8 or 9 temperaments, which are programmed on it, but it allows you also to programm new temperaments. I always thought, it´s a good device, what do you think? I bought it before more than 20 years, I think, and I don´t know, if it is still available in this form.
    If you are interested you can find the manual in English (which is too difficult for me to read and I can´t find any more my german one :evil: ) on the following site:
    http://www.weblogs.uhi.ac.uk/sm00sm/?p=206
     
  9. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Monica,
    Pianolady wrote:
    It took me nearly 3 hours. I tune with the Korg MT 1200, which is very well. You have a scale with a needle (see the picture above, please) and you have simply to tune every tone on your piano, until the needle is exact in the middle on the zero. The only problem is, that the higher and the deeper tones of the piano are not shown with the needle, that means the needle does not react on them. I don´t know why. :evil: So, you have to tune the higher and the deeper tones by comparing with the upper or the under octave. For this one has to possess the capability of an exact listening. (Don´t know, if I have this. I want, that my pupils listen to me, but I don´t know, if I can listen. :lol: )
     
  10. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I enjoyed this set. It was very nicely and tastefully played. I think I enjoyed the fugue more in this case but really because I happen to like the fugue more in this case. I thought the fugue is genius, and the prelude reminds me more of the earlier toccatas?

    I guess it’s not just your Korg that has a hard time with the high and low notes but probably most human ears :) Probably lucky we never encounter them in Bach’s music:)


     
  11. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Stan,
    thank you for your kind comment.
    s_winitsky wrote:
    Yes, the prelude is more a fantasy- or toccata-like piece. But that´s a reason, because I like it at least as much as the fugue. I have played the chromatic fantasy and fugue in former times. For me this is a bit like a miniature of this concept.

    Yes, that´s right, but I have to tune my grand also in this area well, because I don´t only play Bach. :wink:
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A good and strong performance once again. A bit more rhetoric than I would personally use, but that is ok. Your WTC cycle is very consistent and of high quality.

    I'd consider one of these tuning devices, if there is a model that can tune all the keys. However not sure that I'd have the patience to sit and tune for two hours or so .....
     
  13. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    So I guess it's the beginner's luck then. I wish you always have this kind of luck, Andreas. It's really nice to have a perfectly tuned piano all the time, isn't it? But really, I think you have proved the vast majority of piano tuners wrong here. They claim that musicians cannot tune their own pianos. I strongly feel otherwise, at least in regard to 'well-eared' musicians.

    Well, I am not sure whether we should start a tuning/temperament discussion. In short, possible tunings would be:
    - Pythagorean, where the goal is to have perfect fifths. The violin for example, by construction, tunes Pythagorean.
    - Meantone, where the goal is to have perfect thirds.
    - Equal tempered where we strive for perfect octaves and equal semitones - hence the name.
    - Well-tempered where again our goal is to have perfect octaves but we deviate from equal semitones to get somewhat better thirds and fifths.
    Pythagorean and Meantone have been abandoned as their octaves end sharp or flat respectively. Today we use equal temperaments.
    Bach's alleged well-temperament (invented by his student Kirnberger and met in different flavours, Werckmeister, Young etc.) favours 'key-colour'. This means that some keys sound different than others. In fact, all classical composers knew that, so they insisted that no transposition of their compositions could take place as it severely altered their musical intentions. It is argued that although Bach named his Well-Tempered compositions this way, he actually used an equal temperament to show that all keys could be equally used in music. This frequently gives rise to huge debates.
    In any case, a well-temperament would be better for piano solo. It is more musical. Beethoven's first movement of the Moonlight for example, sounds way much better over a well-temperament. One could try for themselves today since many digital pianos feature instant change of temperaments.

    It seems that my assessment about my Korg device was wrong. I should have read the manual. My Korg is an OT-120 which apparently is a newer version of yours and it does do various temperaments. I just hadn't noticed. And I too believe that Korg make fine tuning devices, very reliable.

    There is no need to try and tune all of the piano. Get your tuner to do the job and then from time to time you can just fix one or two stray notes here and there, especially unisons. This way, until the next visit, you will have a well tuned piano.
    There is no tuning device for all the keys. Basically you would tune the middle octave with the aid of such a device and then, as Andreas noted, all upper and lower octaves by ear. Upper and lower octaves are different on each piano due to inharmonicity of the strings so they need variable stretching. No device could possibly predict your piano's stretching needs.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Chris,
    thanks for your encouraging comment.
    Techeut wrote:
    :D

    Yeah, such a tuning advice is a useful advice, I think, especially for guys like us, who seem to have the "recording-mania" :lol: . I often use it also, for to re-tune a tone occasionally, which got a bit distuned. (I think, that happens from time to time, if a piano is used often.) My Korg MT1200 is such a tuning advice, which with you can tune from the deepest to the highest tone of the piano (A´´ to c5), but as I still told to Monica, the quite deep and the quite high tones are not shown properly on the scale, sometimes the needle doesn´t show any reaction, so you have to tune this tone-area just from listening. Mostly I let my tuner tune my grand, only occasionally I tune myself. It´s very seldom, that I have to tune the grand completely, mostly there are just some few tones or a certain tone-area to retune a bit.
    And you may believe me: I don´t have the patience, too, but I have to have it, if I want to do proper recordings. :idea:
     
  15. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Pantelis,
    thank you for your kind reply and detailed explanations. It´s interesting to know, what probably is the newer version of my tuning advice.
     
  16. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I often watch your YT videos, but I noticed that many of them have a wrong aspect ratio (horizontally shrunk). The music is fine though! :lol:

    A very good performance as usual, even if I must tell you, I liked best the fugue as some other people did. In bar 13 you play E natural in the run, don't you?

    Very interesting your exchange of views on piano tuning, Pantelis and Andreas, thank you.
     
  17. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Alfonso,
    thank you for your comment, which is encouraging and useful for me.
    Alf wrote:
    Bah, what means the poor music, if the film is not perfect! :lol: No seriously, you are right and the music is the main-thing for me. I think, I should record in 4:3 size and not in 16:9. I do this, because at home I have a screen, which has the 16:9 size. But I would be glad, to get some useful tips from any person, how I can solve this size-problem of my videos.

    :D

    Ah, you caught me again :x and this time I really have thought, I wouldn´t have made my usual one read error :oops: . But may be I should be proud, because this time it´s not in the fugue, but "only" in the prelude. :lol:
    Thank you, Alfonso, your advice is very valuable for me.
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I now remember that I heard something that sounded unfamiliar. It might have been this. But I did not bother to check with score. Hate to be the one making you re-record a piece just for one wrong note :lol:
     
  19. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Techneut wrote:
    I´m so glad, that Alfonso has not this problem, because I consider it to be very valuable for me. When I´m ready with my WTCI-completion I would like to burn them all on two CD´s and I don´t want to have wrong notes in these recordings, so I´m very glad, if someone shows me my flaws. Of course, I will re-record the prelude for my CD and may be I´ll post this re-recording on my youtube-page. :wink:
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sorry to have failed !
     

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